Wealthsimple is an investing service that uses technology to put your money to work like the world’s smartest investors. In “Money Diaries,” we feature interesting people telling their financial life stories in their own words.
You want me to go through everything I do? It’s a lot of stuff. I'm the resident astrologer at Cosmopolitan. I host a podcast called “Stars Like Us.” I’m writing my third book, which was just sold to St. Martin's Press. I'm the resident astrologer at Soho House in New York City, and I also have a private practice with clients from around the world. My latest venture is called the Constellation Club, and it's a membership-based group that connects people from all around the world on matters of astrology and spirituality and magik. (Yep, that's magik with a “k,” which is manifestation magik, not stage magic. We'll get into that later.) I just turned 30. Running your own business is not for everyone. It's exhausting. I work from the time I wake up until three o'clock in the morning, but I love it.
I've always been curious, philosophical, and intrigued by the paranormal, occult, astrology – anything mystical and off-kilter. Whenever I went to sleepovers as kid, I'd either bring a Ouija board, or I'd insist that we play Light as a Feather, Stiff as a Board and create magic circles for ghosts in the house. I was that creepy kid some parents did not want their children hanging out with.
I’m obsessed with talking about money. I'm a Capricorn rising, and I think I exhaust everybody by talking about money way too much. Capricorn is a sign that is very much associated with business and work ethic and building things on a macro scale. So even though my sun sign is Leo, and I exude that performative, more theatrical fiery Leo energy, my whole perspective of reality is under the auspices of Capricorn, which makes me a true businessperson. And then, of course, I have the moon in Pisces in my second House, which means that my biggest anxiety is not feeling like I have enough. There is a lot of stuff in my own chart that relates to a very complicated ancestral relationship with money.
I was born and raised on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. My father is a musician and music producer, and my mother is a songwriter and singer. They were very successful, but I'm not going to say their names. They met in the late ’80s as business partners, and then they got married, had me, and made a lot of really shitty decisions with their money. As a result, I grew up with no money at all. I went to public school. And I knew that when I went to college, I was going to get a financial aid package from the government because my parents didn't have enough money to pay my way. They had a very, very, very bad, ego-driven divorce that they spent way too much money on. I went from feeling that I was living in this beautiful creative environment, with a music studio in the apartment, to seeing both of my parents just falling deeper into debt and poverty. At six or seven, I had to learn for myself how to create my own relationship with money.
From a young age, I was obsessed with money. Anytime I would get, like, $5 from the tooth fairy, I was like, hell yeah! This is a game-changer. I started working as soon as I could. When I was eight years old, I remember trying to do a mature voice and calling a babysitting agency saying I wanted to babysit. I’m sure I sounded like an eight year old doing an adult voice, so I didn't get any callbacks.
A lot of my clients come to talk to me about career and finances because it's something that I care about very deeply. And I try to talk to them about opening up their channels to receive. I encourage people to, as I call it, raise their temperature. What I mean by that is people are always going to default back to their comfort zone. If your comfort zone is having $5,000 in your bank account, when you have $8,000, you're going to probably spend that extra $3,000 and go back to your comfort zone. Same with income. If we become fixed on the idea that, if I make $100,000, I'm a rich person, then we are cutting ourselves off from ever making more than that. Don't put a limitation on how much you can open your channels to receive. Instead of tying money to a particular number, tie it to your energetic relationship with it. Does that make sense?
I actually just hosted a money manifestation workshop a few weeks ago with my Constellation Club. I guided the members through their birth charts, so they could have a clear understanding of what their unique relationship is with money. We talked about ways to create abundance. And we also talked a lot about ways we could identify what our blocks are as it relates to wealth and prosperity and how to increase our, as I described, financial temperature. The results of that have been extraordinary: people unexpectedly receiving money that falls into their bank account, getting paid on invoices that they had been waiting on for a really long time, or being offered really great gigs. That all came through after this money manifestation workshop. I can't tell you the secret sauce of my money manifestation workshop, but I can share that one of my greatest philosophies surrounding money is that it's an energetic frequency. You can sit and light a candle and some green incense and hope that money will come, but it's not going to come unless you put in the work.
I had always thought I was going to be rich. I didn’t in any way think that that was a ludicrous thing to imagine. I studied art history at Carleton College in Minnesota. I thought that I was going to open a gallery and sell art and make a lot of money. I've never lost the feeling that if one works hard enough and is smart enough and dedicated enough, they're going to be able to be successful.
Between 21 and 23, I worked as an assistant for a billionaire and ran an art gallery in Bushwick by night. When you're an assistant, you learn things. What did I learn? That the billionaire spent more money on bed sheets than he did on my salary. I began to learn the hard truth of how the art world actually works, realizing that my peers who had become successful art dealers came from rich families and were able to sell art to their parents’ golf mates, or whatever. But then I got a phone call from a guy who introduced himself as Douglas Chrismas, the director of the Ace Gallery in Los Angeles. He said he had heard about me and wanted me to come out to L.A. and run his gallery. And it was like a dream come true. So I moved to Los Angeles, and I got there and I found out that the gallery was a Ponzi scheme. It's fully documented on the internet by this point. So: bad first move to L.A. I went to another gallery, but all this time, I had started to feel more disillusioned, and less excited, about the art world. I was mostly chasing rich people for money.
I remember, in my adolescent years, hanging out in the magazine section of Barnes & Noble and reading the horoscopes in Cosmopolitan to try to figure out if my crush was going to, like, want to be with me or not. But it wasn't until I was in my early 20s that I started to combine my college education with my interests. Art history is a study of mythology and symbolism and iconography, and that is also what astrology is. I didn't know that my inherent passion could ever translate into my career. It was almost like the writing was on the wall the entire time. The redrum writing. It was so obvious.
I was miserable at my job, I was miserable being single. My friend from college, Helen and I were like, why do we keep dating these stupid Aquarians? Why wouldn't there be a way to match with people we are actually compatible with, from an astrological perspective? I also noticed that a lot of people were talking about astrology. I was meeting all these girls in L.A. who came from rich entertainment families, who went to like Vanderbilt and were in sororities, and they were talking about astrology too. And I was like, whoa, that's so interesting because I thought that this was only for weirdos. These are people who don't have the same background I do, but we're sharing this language of astrology. Helen and I started to realize that the trends that were happening were very similar to what was happening with the New Age movement in the late ’60s into the ’70s. In 2013, we came up with the idea for Align, an astrology dating app. From my partner's connections and from my own connections having worked as an art dealer, we were able to raise seed money. But I personally had no money, so I had to work as a waitress while I was trying to start a business. Where did I work? At this horrible now-defunct restaurant on the Sunset Strip; my boss was a cokehead and he was so mean to me. It was such a degrading experience. From time to time, I'd have meetings with VCs on a Monday to convince them to invest in our company, and then they would be dining at night at the fucking restaurant and see me waitressing. It was so humiliating.
We launched Align in 2015. Talking about astrology to venture capitalists, I learned so much about money and business and what it meant to be a female entrepreneur. And suffice it to say, we were never able to get past the friends-and-family seed round, to get VCs to invest. We were too early. Of course, the minute we closed, all of these other astrology apps opened with money from the same exact VCs that we had pitched months before. I like to think we laid the foundation.
I moved back to New York in August 2016. Trump’s election changed everything. I think that during the Obama administration, people liked astrology, but with Trump, they need it. When things are crazy on earth, we look up at the stars — it’s human to try to make sense of chaos. In the three years prior to the 2016 election, the conversations we had with people were like, What's happening in my love life? Who am I compatible with? And now suddenly the questions were, What's happening to society, what's happening on a macro scale? Like clockwork, I started to get inquiries from different press outlets to write horoscopes, to give a quote. Then I got my first book deal. In just a matter of months, astrology was ubiquitous. People needed it.
I'm doing very well. I am excited to continue to grow, obviously, but I feel very fortunate and I feel rich. I had to raise my temperature when it came to how much I'm making. I'm making more than was within my comfort zone — which is how much I thought I could make. Raising my own temperature started with hiring people who know what they're doing. I have a pretty big team: my manager, Adam, whom I adore; a UTA literary agent; and television agents and various people in different departments who work on different projects. I have money managers who help me organize my finances and taxes. I'm very excited to buy property, maybe in California so I can be truly bicoastal. No one in my family has ever owned property. I feel like it would be breaking those ancestral cycles.
I support my family. I want to be very gentle with how I phrase this, but part of my financial planning and my desire to make money has been with the awareness that I wouldn't just be supporting myself and my future children but also generations before me, which include my parents and grandparents. My grandmother was just transferred to a nursing facility and that was something I paid for. There’s no other money.
2020 is a crazy astrological year. There's so much rare and magical astrology going on. Certain planets are making connections that haven't been made in 1,500 years. Saturn and Pluto are connecting in Capricorn, and the last time this occurred was hundreds of years ago. We also have the planet Uranus in Taurus right now, and the last time it was in Taurus was during the Great Depression and the Dust Bowl. Taurus represents the earth, as well as the bull of Wall Street, so we know that there's going to be cataclysmic shifts, both in terms of finance, environmentalism, agriculture. There could be food and money scarcity. I'm not investing right now, no. I think there is going to be a crash. It's almost like Earth is a pressure cooker, and 2020 is when we take the top off.
As told to Andrew Goldman exclusively for Wealthsimple; transcript edited and condensed for clarity. Illustration by Jenny Mörtsell.